Bytecoin (BCN) is a privacy focused cryptocurrency that was launched in 2012 by an anonymous set of founders. The token took direct inspiration from Bitcoin, but the developers wanted to overcome the shortcomings of Bitcoin i.e. addressing the fact that it did not provide true anonymity.
Stating that it is the first private untraceable cryptocurrency, Bytecoin employs the ring signature technology to make transactions unlinkable and untraceable and is the earliest cryptocurrency to be based on the CryptoNote application layer. Based on a protocol that was first designed in 2001, Bytecoin uses one-time public and private keys in transactions to make it unlinkable for spectators.
Several other privacy token projects exist, each taking its own approach to offering true anonymity for the user. Most of these projects offer a degree of visibility to allow for such things as auditing. Bytecoin has implemented this as a part of its Amethyst software upgrade, which brought in the auditable wallet feature - allowing outsiders to view held assets without revealing their identity.
Initially keeping their profile low key, those involved in the development of Bytecoin have over the years opened up several communication channels to keep investors informed of progress. The most recent development is the launch of the Bytecoin Blockchain Bridge, which connects the BCN-20 token to the Ethereum blockchain. Other developments in 2019 include a mainnet hardfork.
The rest of 2019 and 2020 will see several major upgrades. Copper v3.6.0, which will bring secure messaging capabilities, is expected to be completed in September, while October will bring the alpha version of hidden amounts, which hides transaction amounts.